A modest proposal for the IPCC

Make it shorter. The Fifth Assessment, that is.

There’s a fairly endless list of suggestions for ways to amend IPCC processes, plus an endless debate over mostly-miniscule improprieties and errors buried in the depths of the report, fueled by the climategate emails.

I find the depth of the report useful personally, but I’m an outlier – how much is really needed? Do any policy makers really read 3000 pages of stuff, every 5 years?

Maybe the better part of valor would be to agree on a page limit – perhaps 350 per working group (the size of the 1990 report), and relegate all the more granular material to a wiki-like lit review and live summary, that could evolve more fluidly.

A shorter report would be easier to edit and read, and less likely to devote ink to details that are fundamentally very uncertain.